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The Brief Pod: Too close to home

04 September 2018

Why does an affluent Australia still struggle with homelessness?

The Brief podcast is a short, sharp, snapshot of today’s policy landscape. On this episode, we home in on why so many Australians are still sleeping rough.

The most recent Australian census counted 116,427 people as being homeless – more than enough to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Even more shocking are the hidden dimensions of this number: 20 per cent were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 30 per cent were born overseas, and reports show that older, single women are increasingly affected. On this episode of The Brief, James O’Donnell discusses why people become homeless, how they escape it, and why we need flexible policy solutions if every Australian is to have a roof over their head.

Listen to the podcast here.

James O’Donnell is a PhD candidate and research assistant at the ANU school of demography, and winner of The Australian Population Association’s 2014 WD Borrie Prize.

Edwina Landale is the presenter of The Brief. She is a student of Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at the ANU.

Show notes | The following were referred to in this episode:

Everybody’s Home

Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS)

Orange Sky Laundry


St Vincent De Paul

The Red Cross

Policy Forum Pod is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or find us on Facebook.

This episode of Policy Forum Pod was written and produced by Edwina Landale.

This post and podcast were first published on, Crawford School’s platform for public policy debate, analysis, views, and discussion.

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